Monday, December 8, 2014

On the 8th Day of Advent, 2014...


by J.P. McEvoy*

from A CHRISTMAS ALMANAC (Gerard & Patricia Del Re)

That's right. Green! Who started all this breast-beating for a white Christmas? Irving Berlin.** What was he doing at the time? Having a green Christmas out in Hollywood -- writing movies for that green folding stuff. For many years I have met Berlin in the winter -- in California, Florida, Honolulu -- usually under a palm tree, never a snow-bank. Irving Berlin is always as brown as a Waikiki beach boy. How does he get that year-round tan? Dreaming about white Christmases, but staying away from them.

*Joseph Patrick McEvoy (January 10, 1897 – August 8, 1958) was an American writer whose stories were published during the 1920s and 1930s in popular magazines such as Liberty, The Saturday Evening Post and Cosmopolitan. 

**Irving Berlin (born Israel Isidore Beilin, May 11, 1888 – September 22, 1989) was an American composer and lyricist of Russian-Jewish origin. Widely considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history, his music forms a great part of the Great American Songbook. 

The 1942 film Holiday Inn introduced his song, "White Christmas," one of the most recorded songs in history. It sold over 30 million records and stayed no. 1 on the pop and R&B charts for 10 weeks. Bing Crosby's single was the best-selling single in any music category for more than fifty years. Music critic Stephen Holden credits this partly to the fact that "the song also evokes a primal nostalgia—a pure childlike longing for roots, home and childhood—that goes way beyond the greeting imagery." The song won Berlin the Academy award, one of seven Oscar nominations he received during his career.

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